BuzzFeed is the incredibly popular site that combines humans and computer algorithms to curate viral content from across the web. It is not uncontroversial, receiving accusations of plagiarism on a reasonably frequent basis. But it is not the ethics of the site that my two chosen articles discuss this week.
The first article, by Eliana Dockterman at Time magazine, has the rather lovely title: How the news got less mean. It isn’t a long article by any means, but it discusses the interesting influence of social media and viral trends – as curated by BuzzFeed – on the type and tone of modern journalism.
The second article, by Mark O’connell at The New Yorker, also has a brilliant title, parodying those that often appear on BuzzFeed: 10 paragraphs about lists you need in your life right now. It discusses the impact of list articles, or “listicles” (ugh), on journalism.
So: two articles essentially discussing two different ways in which BuzzFeed affects journalism. The conclusion appears to be that the future of journalism is snappy and happy. This isn’t all bad news. But I am glad that there are those who also see the future in longform in-depth journalism, and even innovation in the sector, from approaches as diverse as Matter and NSFWCORP, and everything in between. But that discussion is probably for another day…
2D posts appear on alternate Wednesdays. For 2D, I pick two interesting articles that look at an issue from two different – though not necessarily opposing – perspectives. I hope you enjoy them!